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Posted on Sunday, May 19, 2013 by


EMPRESS OF THE NORTH at Juneau, Alaska. Photo © Peter Knego 2003

Memphis-based American Queen Steamboat Company is on the verge of announcing its acquisition of the laid up EMPRESS OF THE NORTH for Columbia River cruise service.  The 2002-built, 223-passenger EMPRESS OF THE NORTH was withdrawn from service in 2008 following the collapse of her last owners, Majestic America Line and remains under the stewardship of the U.S. Maritime Administration at Portland, Oregon.

A 2014 sailing schedule for the vessel, which will be renamed AMERICAN EMPRESS, is slated for release on Tuesday, May 21.  Meanwhile, American Queen officials are still working to secure the complete financing and acquisition of the AMERICAN EMPRESS.

American Queen currently operates the 436-passenger AMERICAN QUEEN, the largest, most lavish steamboat ever built, on the Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee Rivers.

5 Responses to An AMERICAN EMPRESS?

  1. Kenenth Eden

    May 20, 2013 at 5:42 am


    I had to reread and then some to see that it is (?) AMERICAN EMPRESS not American Express – although AMEX will no doubt be of service on this boat.

    Lots to say about names of ships and boats of late, this one is pathetic -as is AMERICAN QUEEN.

  2. Pamela Wilson

    May 20, 2013 at 11:19 am

    How exciting; I’m looking forward very much to more news on this acquisition. Thanks to the American Queen Steamboat Company for everything; we know you’ll be good for the Empress.
    And by the way, LOVE the name “American Express”; most fitting and catchy, as she will be a sister ship to the “American Queen.”

    To the person who commented previously on the names —
    “PATHETIC?” — Really?? Come on!
    Have a nice day; it sounds like you could use one.

  3. Laura Plunk Davis

    May 20, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    My son worked on this ship for a few seasons and my mother and I took the most amazing 12 day cruise thru the inside passage of Alaska and on down to Seattle… I would love to see it active again!!

  4. Paul Motter

    May 21, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    The name is an homage to the ship’s original name, but in keeping with the the cruise line’s naming convention.

    American Queen was the original name of the vessel given to it by the Delta Queen Steamboat Company. I think it is good that they kept the original name.

    If people can name their dogs, cats & birds; “Princess” etc, why not a steam vessel?

    However, I am not partial to long ship names (Yes, Royal Caribbean’s “___ of the Seas” naming convention makes me insane). So, I am fine with “American Empress” – much better than “Empress of the North” which sounds like a fairy tale to me.

  5. Jon Fostik

    May 23, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    Excellent news that another American flag passenger vessel will be in service. This also means jobs for our fellow citizens. Now that of course is the most important information…..yes the current nomenclature of ships is not optimal. Viking Ocean Cruises new ship will be called Viking Star…yawn…haven’t we previously seen Star as a suffix such as Royal Viking Star, Wind Star, Norwegian Star etc. Kudos though to American Queen Steamsboat Company!

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